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Fetch! The Chase Is On For Absentee Ballots, Confusion Mounts

September 11th, 2015 · 51 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

This nutty election cycle just added a few more Goobers. State elections officials on Thursday advised Town Clerk Alma Maya because she did not receive a complete schedule of supervised balloting locations from Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala, Maya must mail all of those requests to absentee ballot applicants that were set aside. As a result, roughly 700 absentee ballots were mailed on Thursday bringing a total of more than 3,000 mailed absentee ballots citywide. How many will come back to the office? That depends on the efforts of campaign operatives to beseech their peeps.

Confused? Welcome to the club. Less than a week from the Democratic primary for mayor, driving absentee ballot requests, a premium is placed on making sure electors have the opportunity to vote.

Ayala on Wednesday had emailed the campaign camps of Bill Finch, Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster of scheduled supervision of absentee ballots for electors who claimed they could not make it to the polls for Wednesday’s primary. That transmittal apparently did not reach Maya’s office. As a result, lawyers for the city and the state huddled Thursday afternoon to determine that voters are not stuck in the crossfire of perceived disenfranchisement.

What is supervised balloting?

State law provides local registrars with the authority to conduct supervised balloting when 20 absentee ballot applications come from a particular address. It helps to provide a check against campaign operatives trying to manipulate votes by absentee. It also provides an option for electors who filled out an absentee ballot application to vote at their desired designated precinct.

Any voter at the designated address who signed an absentee application and wants to vote by absentee ballot can do so that day under the supervision of elections officials.

Connecticut is one of a handful of states with excuse-only absentee ballot voting. Away for work? You vote by absentee ballot. Health issues? You vote by absentee ballot. There’s no early voting in Connecticut.

Two days ago, Finch’s Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission and Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State regarding “the disenfranchise of electors who have requested an absentee ballot and will be prevented from voting by this process.”

One specific area where Finch’s political operation has strength is P.T. Barnum Apartments where so far about 75 absentee ballots have been requested, according to the Town Clerk’s Office. The housing complex, according to a schedule released by Ayala, is slated for supervised balloting Friday afternoon.

So now we could see a collision course between supervised balloting, absentee ballots mailed and how they intersect on primary day. Someone will be required to sort it all out.

Otherwise, this process will be lawyered up north, south, east and west, all over the city.

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51 Comments so far ↓

  • Joel Gonzalez

    I had to read this three times to get a grip of it. I chuckled when I read the word “nutty” as it reminded me of that ‘crook’ who called me a nut two days ago and nearly hit me with her car on Park and North Avenue. HEY BITCH, DON’T THINK I’M AFRAID OF YOU OR SCARED TO NOT KEEP YOUR FAMILY’S NAME OUT OF MY MOUTH.

    It looks like I can now congratulate Steven Auerbach on at least an AB victory for his horse in this race.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Thank you for acknowledging the obvious. However, Mayor Finch does not need a crooked operation to win this election of all elections. There are a lot of legitimate absentee ballots from alert and engaged voters who want to exercise their right to vote as they have for the past 60 years. They do not need me to tell them how to vote. But I’ll tell you, homemade blueberry blintzes and Matzoh ball soup go a long way! :-)

      • city hall smoker

        The ONLY way Finch can win is through a crooked absentee ballot process. He is sinking fast. It’s obvious by the panic in city hall.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          chs,
          You got that right. That’s how he was elected twice before, through crooked electoral practices. Lydia Martinez, “queen of absentee ballots,” is on Finch’s ticket. She will do all she can to ensure Tax Bill gets another four years. Wanda Jeter, another master AB manipulator, is working P.T. For Finchie.

          How ironic Joe Ganim, the convicted crook, is advocating for an honest, fair electoral process while the incumbent is employing every available election fraud steer in town. Ain’t politics great?

          Only in Bridgeport.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Lololol.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Baghdad,
            What does “lololol” mean? Is that the sound you make when the truth becomes stuck in your frontal lobes?

      • BPT Punisher

        No, he does!

  • donj

    anybody think 10k or more voters will come out

    • Steven Auerbach

      No.

      • Lisa Parziale

        This was not the fault of the Registrar. She had a schedule of senior centers and housing complexes to be supervised, the State henchmen demanded the Registrar amend the supervised ballot list and she refused. Then Alma Maya, the Town Clerk took it upon herself to cave in to the request of the State henchmen, went over the Registrar’s authority, and mailed out all ballots that were scheduled to be supervised. I regret I have to share the second line with this woman. Hector Diaz Sr. served with integrity, fairness and knowledge during his long tenure as Town Clerk, he must be crying in heaven to know who replaced him. There must be a plan in place to observe those buildings on the Registrar’s list to prevent the solicitors of those applications from entering those locations to do what they do.

        • Hector A. Diaz

          Lisa, please do not use this one situation to be your judgement of Alma. In all my years of knowing her and her family, they have proven themselves to be honorable and exemplary as individuals and as a unit. Alma did what Alma believed to be the right thing and as difficult a choice as this must have been she didn’t waffle or look for an excuse, she made a decision. This is what leaders do and I’m sure that my father would applaud that in itself. You’ve been around elections for a long time and know as the day grows closer the ANXIETY is multiplied and internal arguments and questions of trust and loyalty abound. I love you Lisa and hope that this will pass, as I believe Alma did not do anything maliciously, with the intent of hurting herself or those running on her line.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Hector, you are wrong on this one. I’m involved day to day in this election cycle. Alma does not know her job. Alma made a decision that was wrong. Not only by usurping the authority of the Registrar, but by compromising the rights of the voters who were counting on their ballots to be delivered in time for them to vote. By mailing those ballots out at 3:30 yesterday, coupled by a slower rate of arrival by the postal service, she ensured those ballots will not be received, at best by Saturday. If they’re mailed out on Monday, they will not reach the Town Clerk’s office until election day when it will be too late for them to count. In essence, she disenfranchised these voters. All it required was common sense on her part. Your opinion of her personally is perhaps correct, my opinion of her as a Town Clerk is also correct.

        • Joel Gonzalez

          “State elections officials on Thursday advised Town Clerk Alma Maya because she did not receive a complete schedule of supervised balloting locations from Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala, Maya must mail all those requests to absentee ballot applicants that were set aside.”

          Lisa, did you read this or are you calling Lennie a liar?

          Lisa, let’s not pretend Santa Ayala is on her game. When the Joe Ganim petitions were first received by his campaign, three errors were found after 300 hundred petition signatures were gathered. Was that Maya’s fault too? I was planning to run in the 131st district for City Council. I went to the Registrar to make sure a specific address in the 131st was in that district and not in the 130th as three district borders are very close. I was sure it was in the 131st. Ayala pulled a form and started to check the address and for five minutes kept telling me it was in the 130th. I knew what she was looking at. She was looking on the row for the state elections not the local. When I asked her which row she was looking at, she then said “you’re right, Joel.” Ayala then tried to cover her obvious incompetence by stating no one had ever asked her that question.

          I’ve noticed something very odd with the Christina Ayala pending trial. I know of about two dozen people who have been charged with crimes way after Christina Ayala. Their cases have already been settled in the courts. Why is it Christina Ayala’s case has been delayed for so long? It’s a very simple case with very solid documented evidence–the paper trail. I dare say a deal has been made here and the case won’t proceed until certain demands are met by Santa Ayala. A fine and probation; elections enforcement won’t object; no charges against the Registrar. Keep in mind what’s at stake in this election–control of over $4 billion. Call me a conspiracy theorist.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Every one of the people mentioned are Ganim supporters.

            Lisa, I agree 100 percent with your post and I think Alma Maya is a very nice person. I totally agree these voters will be very angry if their votes are not counted. To assume they are all Finch votes is ridiculous.

            I also have to say Joe Ganim in the news tonight just reminds people he was everything he is accusing Finch of.

          • Hector A. Diaz

            Steve, the problem being these voters don’t know whom they are voting for, that’s why this is such a sensitive issue. Also of course they are Ganim supporters, isn’t everyone? Funny thing is both the officials named political careers (paying political positions) started with Finch, don’t you and everyone else find it interesting they no longer support him?

          • Lisa Parziale

            Joel, let’s stay on your original comment. First of all I’m not calling Lennie a liar nor would I ever. I know better than Lennie what happened. That doesn’t make him a liar, just misinformed. Bottom line, Alma caved. She was under no obligation to mail those ballots. So Sandi’s tougher, so what. 700 voters would be casting their choices on the ballot if Alma followed Sandi’s example.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Steve, you’re correct and I apologize if I implied they were only Finch votes. Only those filling out the ballots (that will never be counted) know who they supported. Let’s not forget there are four council candidates running in that district, I’m sure they will also be affected.

    • Jimfox

      Joe Ganim will bring out more than 17,000 voters.

      Bridgeport taxpayers will welcome Joe with open arms. Eight years of lies and deceiving the taxpayers, while Finch and McCarthy voted against you! Now it’s your turn to vote against them!

      Vote for Joe Ganim!

  • The Phantom

    The Phantom is back from vacation and can tell you this whisper of a rumor. The “queen” of AB’s has been spotted all over the East Side following the mail carriers. She walks into buildings with multiple apartments after the mail carrier puts in the mail and has left. Walks right back out with stuff in hand. Are these ABs in hand?

    • Joel Gonzalez

      To all parties concerned, when any item is mailed via USPS and there are issues of concern or fraud, complaints shall be filed here:
      postalinspectors.uspis.gov/contactus/filecomplaint.aspx

      The John Rowland/Foley investigation was conducted by the US Postal Inspectors Office as the FBI forwarded the investigation to them due to the fact the candidate who filed the complaint surrounding the Rowland probe with the FBI was a retired FBI agent. I filed a complaint nearly 10 months ago. I am yet to hear from them. Today, I went to the Post Office. The Postmaster is on vacation. Spoke with Derrick Hudson and I filed another complaint online. Will meet with Bob Walsh soon.

      Beware from now on is all I could say to all AB chasers and people requesting AB ballots. The Elections Enforcement Commission has failed to forward complaints involving ABs for too long. Why? They have no jurisdiction over USPS.

  • Wicca

    An extra GOTV campaign for the opposition courtesy of the Incumbent and the State. Who says the best things in life are not free?

  • Bob Walsh

    John from Black Rock,
    Are you condoning this Absentee Ballot fraud being perpetrated by your candidate Bill Finch or not?
    Have you changed so much you now believe criminal acts are OK as long as they help reach a perceived greater goal?
    Come on, John. What say ye?

    • John from Black Rock

      Bob,
      What good are these personal attacks on my character doing MJF? Does she know what you’re doing? If she does, I’m sure she does not condone it. How about Gage, Gabby or Swan, do they think your line of personal attack on me is a good idea? I doubt it.

      If you have proof of Absentee Ballot fraud you have a moral and legal obligation to turn that proof over to the proper authorities. You need to put up or shut up.

      Just one small suggestion: You need to stop taking my inventory and then go take a good hard look in the mirror.

  • BPT Punisher

    Is it me or is anyone else starting to think this Steven Auerbach is just an alias for Bill Finch to use on here? They both type with the same idiotic knowledge and typos.

    Your response to EVERY SINGLE ANTI-FINCH comment is the SAME. HE BUILT THIS … HE’S BUILDING THAT … GANIM IS A FELON … FINCH BUILT THAT. I mean really, either get more creative or STFU.

    Now I know your next post is going to contain something along the lines of, “Just another Ganim supporter upset with me.” WRONG.

    “He’s building …” WHO CARES?

    “He’s brought so much …” SHUT UP. YOU’RE A MORON.

  • Steven Auerbach

    As the Ganim and Foster campaigns continue their downward spiral, the insults and stories get more and more exaggerated.

    Bob Walsh, really? With a few days to go you are still trying to convince a man you grossly insulted to vote for your candidate?

    You know Joe Ganim would never never never do anything about an absentee ballot operation.

    Foster was never an issue as the Ganim campaign has made clear since day one. This is not the candidate I supported four years ago. Maybe it was Bob, I remember you, Moore and Gomes sitting on your asses while a handful of us were busting our asses.

    The campaign I am working on, I am the weakest link and I am everywhere nearly every day. What a difference when there is passion.

    • BPT Punisher

      Stevie-poo, aren’t you a teacher of some sort? Why aren’t you teaching right now instead of posting here?

      • BPT Punisher

        And we wonder why our Finch-supervised education is going down the drain, teachers are too busy campaigning than teaching the damned students!

        • Steven Auerbach

          Bpt Punisher, the school system does suck and I can assure you it isn’t because of me. Just don’t forget to vote for Finch, he tried to stop the insanity.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Bpt Punisher, personally I would start by getting rid of the teachers union, I would get rid of the elected board of Education since 90 percent of the voters are clueless and I would do thorough background checks on those trying to get on the board as some may have serious personal issues. I am a guest in 30 schools and I have seen the best and the worst. Ganim did nothing for the Bridgeport Public schools. I have no clue what Foster will support as she has never had a child in a Bridgeport Public School, as well as Ganim and Torres. No experience and no first-hand knowledge of the Bridgeport school system.

          Bpt Punisher, it is nice you came out of the closet a few days before the election. I am not a teacher making $80 grand living in Milford complaining about the low-life parents of the kids in school.

      • Steven Auerbach

        Bpt Punisher, because I was hospitalized on Wednesday for minor surgery and now I am home and back campaigning, very sore but will be fine. Thank you for inquiring, Bpt Punisher-poo. You must be living under a rock. I have been contacted by both Finch and Ganim supporters.

        Btw, I just have to say every single individual I had to deal with at St. Vincents was just amazing! I think I had to deal with at least 30 people in just two days. The menu on the 8th was awesome and the food delivered by gentlemen in semi-formal attire, no kidding! Thank you to all the staff and Thank you for supporting Mayor Finch! :-)

        • The Phantom

          Funny. I thought Finch was the one with surgery to remove your lips from his culo. LOL. Really, I hope you’re okay and wish you well.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Thank you, Phantom.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Bpt Punisher, you clearly would not be one of the individuals who cares what is going on in Bridgeport. St. Vincent’s Hospital is most relevant as they are one of the biggest employers in the city. It is nice to know their reputation is superb as opposed to the silly childish rants you post. I have to assume you work for the city because you are anonymous. Too bad for the city. Another miserable disgruntled employee.

        • BPT Punisher

          I notice you always avoid certain subjects, you say “the school system does suck and I assure you it isn’t because of me” yet you are contributing to the “suckage.” Btw, NOT voting for Finch. A great man by the name of Montgomery Brewster once said, “VOTE NONE OF THE ABOVE.” (Yes I’m aware that was a movie.)

          P.S. Your hospital visit/stay is IRRELEVANT to anything going on in Bridgeport, only difference being people may actually care about what’s going on in Bridgeport!

          • Steven Auerbach

            See post above.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            BPT Punisher is correct, Baghdad Steve. We all wish you a speedy recovery. The menu and customer service at Saint V’s (or anywhere else you waddle up to the feed trough) is not relevant here. This a political blog, not “Baghdad Steve, the Stumbling Gourmet.”

  • BPT Punisher

    Hey dummy, nowhere did I say I don’t care what’s going on at St. Vincent’s!

    I said, and hell I’ll quote myself, “YOUR HOSPITAL VISIT/STATE IS IRRELEVANT TO ANYTHING GOING ON IN BRIDGEPORT. ONLY DIFFERENCE BEING PEOPLE MAY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN BRIDGEPORT!”

    No one cares about you … about you … about you. Figured if I said it three times you might understand better. Probably not, let me try it a different way.

    Stevie-poo. No one cares about you going to the hospital. You keep posting about how you want to make children with Bill Finch so everyone knows you are not in any danger.

    Steve, I can be really really cool to get along with. I can enjoy fun see-saw matches with anyone, but don’t ever try to put words in my mouth.

    P.S. On a side note, funny, no one can put words in your mouth because it’s filled with Finch, ayooo!

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bpt Punisher, your anger and loathing of me just speaks to your vile character. I do think a few people care about me. Somewhere there has to be at least one person. I forgive your nastiness. You do not have to throw a temper tantrum. Your post represents many anonymous posters on this blog who go out of their way incognito to say unnecessary nasty things. Me, I could never be that pathetic. You are another story.

      • BPT Punisher

        I’m not angry, just tired of seeing the same things written over and over. It’s like when you thought you bought the album from a specific artist, but when you go to listen to the next track that is supposed to be similar but NOT the same and you realize you bought the single, therefore it’s the same damned song over and over. It’s frustrating. Annoying. I agree with what you say about Finch, he’s definitely done good for the city! I said it, can’t argue about it. But when you sit there and defend him, which btw GOOD FOR YOU for standing by your favorite guy, but as I was saying, when you defend him, you say the SAME GOD DAMNED THINGS OVER AND OVER … AND OVER … AND OVER … AND OVER … AND OVER (get the point?).

        If I were someone who read these comments who was a Finch supporter and read your comments daily, I think I would vote for anyone but Finch just to spite you.

        I respect you, Steven (even though you’re contributing to these children not getting any education every time you reply to me). I respect your views and opinions (even though you’re contributing to these children not getting any education every time you reply to me) but whenever you keep repeating yourself (even though you’re contributing to these children not getting any education every time you reply to me), it gets VERY VERY ANNOYING!

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          What an asshole. “Your anger and loathing of me speaks of your vile character.” He doesn’t like you. That doesn’t mean he has a vile character. It just means he doesn’t like you, Baghdad Steve. Get your head out of your ass. After Ganim wins the primary you’re going to adopt a Chicken Little tactic (italicized emphasis on “chicken,” cluck-cluck-cluck): “The sky is falling. The sky is falling, the evil has returned!!!”

          Go back to the hospital, Baghdad. They have your brain in cold storage.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bpt Punisher, you need my dick in your mouth, you need not tell me how much fun you are to be with.

      Lennie Grimaldi, this is where I sign off. Anonymous posters need to be excluded, Until then, sayonara.

  • Steven Auerbach

    On more important issues of the day.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to everybody who lost a loved one on 9/11. In remembering this day.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Steve,
    I’m glad to hear your surgery went well.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Steve,
    Time for you to move to Fort Lauderdale.

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